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2008 Toyota Highlander



  • lucky_777lucky_777 Posts: 205
    Best explanation for this design is purely environmental. There is way too much oil left in the can type filter. With the canister design you drain and recycle most of the oil. Overall HL access for oil change is not bad at all. It is easy to get to the filter and oil plug with a car sitting on the ground.
  • rzepa1rzepa1 Posts: 55
    Neither does mine dealer. Even if they did I would not do so. You pay for it one way or another. The money they make on the 15K/30K/etc services would pay for many oil changes. I really do not understand why should I pay ~$300 to re-fill my fluids,check breakes and lube the hinges.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Neither does mine dealer. Even if they did I would not do so. You pay for it one way or another. The money they make on the 15K/30K/etc services would pay for many oil changes. I really do not understand why should I pay ~$300 to re-fill my fluids,check breakes and lube the hinges.

    Have you read your service manual recently? There's timing chains on almost all vehicles. On most auto's there's almost nothing to do other than oil and filters up to 100K miles. At that time you might want to change your plugs. Airfilters and tires are a simple DIY. Who would pay $300 for any service before 100K miles? That's early 90's stuff.

    It's pretty simple..
    show up at 5000 miles and the cost is $0
    show up at 10000 miles and the cost is $0
    show up at 15000 miles and the cost is $0
    show up at 20000 miles and the cost is $0
  • rzepa1rzepa1 Posts: 55
    My impresion was that you only got this deal if doing all the dealer "recommended" maintenance. If this is not the case, sorry. My other car is Avalon. The dealer where I go for oil changes, has its own "recommended" 15K/30K/etc maintenance. The do all the meaningless stuff for people who do not read the fine print what is getting done : top off the windshielf fluid, check air pressure etc. All for cool $149.

    I always decline.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    as you know all generalizations are wrong

    Which, as you know, is also a generalization. :)

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Nope, no hooks at all.

    Show up at the specified intervals and it costs nothing.

    Skip a year or two and show up at 50,000 and it still costs nothing. Here is another way of looking at it, the other side of the coin if you will. The owner is 'buying' an hour of your time ( a previous customer, presumably satisfied ) for $20-$25 to get you to look around at the new vehicles.

    After 4 or 5 of these visits on two or three vehicle per family then it becomes almost a monthly habit.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I know that's why I post that from time to time. :shades: That's why I never make generalizations..LOL
  • I haven't done the oil change yet but will (less than 2k miles so far). My '03 Jetta TDI wagon had a similar cartridge set up. No problems with it. Still had the oily filter element to dispose of but no "can". Seemed like a good idea to me. I wonder if in the future more and more car makers won't be doing something similar to reduce waste?
  • molinemoline Posts: 14
    I noticed that the aftermarket receiver which U-Haul installed on my Highlander (made by Valley) cannot be used with a weight distribution system. I was surprised by this, but a phone call to Valley confirmed that it's true. Does anyone know if the Toyota OEM hitch can be used with weight distribution systems? Although I don't necessarily plan on maxing out the 5000 pound capacity of the Highlander, it might be nice to keep the tongue weight from pushing the back of the vehicle down too much, and sway control couldn't hurt... :)
  • Let me start by saying that I never learned how to drive with an automatic transmission. All (but 1 Detroit big block v8) of my past cars had a 5-speed manual. I get on the highway, shift to 5th gear and not touch it until I got off the highway - be it minutes or hours later (traffic allowing). My last car had a 200hp v6 and weighed 3200 lbs w/o gas.

    The Highlander - with 270hp - seems to shift like my wife's 130 hp 4cyl Corolla. The slightest upgrade and it goes to 4th, anything longer than a couple hundred feet makes it drop to 3rd? What gives? It has plenty of power... Is there anyway to lock it into OD - or reprogram the shift points to stay in high gear longer?

    Granted it is 6,000 lbs and 4wd, but even if that saps 70-80 hp from the engine (as compared to my previous vehicle), it should still be able to stay in high gear - if not at least 4th... I thought I could live with an automatic, but after a 3 weeks it isn't getting any easier.

    I expect the high-revving 4 cyl to shift a lot, but not a big meaty v6?

    Another thing I noticed (the corolla does this too) is it downshifts when you are going downhill at 45 mph and so much as touch the brake? Why the heck would it do this??

    Thoughts? :cry:
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 320
    Previous generation V6 Highlander had some owners complaining about auto tranny hesitating in shifting gears or being in too high a gear under certain situations. Apparently the 2008 has been designed to shift like you describe to give owners sense of power. It does not weigh 6,000 lbs, more like 4,200-4,300 lbs. The downshift when you touch the brake is designed into the tranny program to supposedly aid in braking. Honda first advertised this several years ago. Some people like it and some don't. I would not like it as it won't let me coast for better mpg.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    I get tired of people sitting back and picking apart whatever a poster has to say. My observation was based on owning a Lexus, and 2 Toyota's in the past 8 years. I see a much different attitude from then to now. Sorry, you can call it what you want but there is a difference. I don't believe Toyota has nothing to say after the sale is done with dealers either. Local or not you can bet Toyota is watching their dealers.

    Concerning the Auto Tran. I too cannot stand the shift points in the new trans.
  • rzepa1rzepa1 Posts: 55
    I also think that Toyota is watching the dealers. As much as the salespeople/managers lie and twist things, there was almost begging like tone to give them good reviews on the Toyota survey as their bonuses and allocation depends on, at least at some part.
  • roho1roho1 Posts: 318
    How could I forget? The supervisor of my salesman called me over to a corner to beg me to give my salesman a good review in the survey I would receive in the mail. He said anything less than excellent might reflect on him keeping his job! Now that's a heavy burden to put on a customer. These surveys come from Toyota by the way not the dealer.

    I also get the same beg job at the service department. They ask to please give them an excellent rating or nothing at all.

    These tactics are low life and I've meaning to let Toyota know what is going on. I think most people probably just give them what they want or nothing.
  • Re: weight.. I did mis-speak. The curb weight is 4,321 lbs for the limited and the GVWR is 6,000 lbs. I plucked the wrong number in my haste.

    In that light, it is even more frustrating that it shifts up to 20 times on the same stretch of road that I never had to shift manually at all - with the SAME weight to power ratio....and the use of 3rd gear at highway speeds, come on Toyota?? :cry:

    As for tranny braking, the side effect seems to be the passenger 'lunging' forward on the downshift. Certainly seems to make my wife uncomfortable in the HL - although not so much in the Corolla. Maybe it is the extra weight/momentum of the bigger car. Funny thing is, after over a decade of driving a stick, I never downshifted to use the tranny to slow unless I was towing... Brakes are far cheaper.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    The primary loss in an "Otto" engine operating at partial throttle is the pumping losses result from the vacuum in the intake manifold and cannot be easily alleviated. The primary secondary losses are purely frictional and can be best alleviated, reduced, via operating the engine at the lowest possible RPM at which the engine still products enough power, JUST BARELY enough power, to move along at your desired speed.

    So, in order to keep the engine right on the "cusp" of best FE, the new 6-speed transmissions, 9 speeds if the OD clutch is used properly, will exhibit a LOT of shiftiness during constant speed cruise, especially in cruise control.


    When you INITIALLY apply the brakes the OD clutch MUST be disengaged in case the brake application QUICKLY becomes severe. With the OD clutch engaged and the driven wheels virtaully LOCKED the engine would stall.

    So that initial "downshift" as you apply the brakes is oftentimes simply the OD clutch releasing, thereby putting you into a "true" 3rd, 4th, 5th, or even 6th(OD).
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    I don't believe Toyota has nothing to say after the sale is done with dealers either.

    You may not believe it but it's the facts. Toyota has done the effort to minimize what has to be done on the vehicle. I've had 7 of them beginning in 1989. At that time a 3000 mi service interval cost anywhere from $75 to $150 and the timing belt service cost upwards of $500 depending on the location.

    Now proper service intervals are 5000 mi, there are almost no timing belts any longer, the plugs should go for 100,000 mi at least and most of the new transmissions don't need any service. That's what Toyota has done.

    The dealers are separate businesses. Some are huge and can cover their expenses with minimal profit per vehicle. Others are small and have to make a good profit on every vehice and service provided. Toyota has no say whatsoever on what each store does. If one decides to charge $40 for an oil change and another is at $29 and another is Free for Life...that's just business in a local market. Toyota can't force the small store to charge nothing because the big store doesn't charge anything. Normal forces in the local market will direct the business to the low cost provider.

    What Toyota wants is satisfied customers. Here's a shocker for you. The small stores that often charge a 'fair' price ( meaning with a normal profit ) such as $29 per oil change normally get much much better CSI scores in the service department than the big stores. The Service Dept CSI scores are the only thing Toyota monitors after the sale.
  • The Service Dept CSI scores are the only thing Toyota monitors after the sale.

    That's unfortunate. I, too, have been subject to the pressure to "give us 100% satisfaction or nothing." This artificially skews Toyota's results. It's not valid CSI at all.

  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    I get tired of people sitting back and picking apart whatever a poster has to say.

    And I get tired of people thinking that their personal dissatisfaction is the direct result of some sort of grand Toyota corporate conspiracy to screw customers.

    As consumers, none of us buy anything directly from Toyota. We all have to interact with a dealer. The smart dealers are going to find ways to differentiate themselves on factors other than price. At the end of the day, there are going to be good Toyota dealers and not-so-good Toyota dealers.

    Personally, my Toyota dealer has vastly improved its sales and service department over the last 6 years (and two Toyotas for me). This is in an area where Toyota has had the highest new vehicle market share of any manufacturer (about 25%) for years.

    As for service, I have no problem taking my Toyota in for regular servicing at the dealer. Yes, I could do it myself. However, I don't mind paying for the convenience of letting the dealer doing it.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    You should write Toyota motor sales USA about these ridiculous surveys. They are designed to penalize the sales persons and dealerships to keep from paying them their due. I'm so sick of it that it makes me want to puke. Nothing than excellent is a failure. Pleeaazze. Nothing is perferct. Customer sees a scratch on the car after taking home, calls the dealer, dealer fixes scratch that was not there when customer picked up vehicle then gets slammed on the VDQI vehicle delivery quality index marks. So much for the perfect survery. One of these great surveys knocked me out of a weeks trip to Playa del Carmen Mexico in Cancun/Cozumel area. One stupid survey that came back with goods and averages and a few excellents dropped my CSI from a 98 to 93.75 score. The cutout for the contest was 94! Did I catch a break even though I was tops in my group for the duration of the contest and some of the other stores don't even get graded on csi. Sorry just venting. I was looking forward to that trip.
  • I did a Toyota survey online once I bought the car. I got a JD Power survey today in a mail. My dealer did a good job selling me a HL so they have nothing to be afraid of.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706

    Ask the customer to come back to you once the survey is recieved and sit down and resolve any customer issues "real time" and then help fill out the form.
  • mackabeemackabee Posts: 4,709
    Believe me, I've tried just about everything. No matter how great the experience was somewhere down the line they didn't like what the finance manager said, or the sales manager, or the value of their trade. They make a simple comment about this and if it's not excellent. There goes the survey. I don't sweat the surveys much because I do an excellent job and they reward me for it. Once in a while is the knuckehead that has a chip on their shoulder and now has a way to "get back" at the evil salesman that did him/her wrong 15 years ago. If you are going to survey customers let them be real and frank. They can point out deficiencies in the process that can be adressed by the manufacturer and dealer body and corrected. Don't blame the salesperson for everything and then take his/her money that he/she has already earned. Is this even legal?
  • qs933qs933 Posts: 302
    That situation sounds pretty tough. I'm in sales too (not auto sales, though), and I can empathize -- some things are just totally beyond your control as a salesperson, yet these things can sour an otherwise positive experience for your customer.

    Tying compensation (or an incentive) to survey scores is one of those things that sounds good on paper (provides additional motivation to excel, etc.), but in reality it just becomes another cat-and-mouse game to manufacture the results that are desired.
  • nimrod99nimrod99 Posts: 343
    I am a little shocked that on a vehicle like the highlander, the drivers power window switches (and all the passengers) are not lighted.
    My wife just got her 2008 CR-V and wow, is it really top notch. Little things like lighted power window switches (drivers and all passenger).

    Wonder why Toyota would leave out a detail like that?
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 2,281
    Wonder why Toyota would leave out a detail like that?
    I'm guessing cost cutting :confuse:
  • fptgfptg Posts: 10
    seems like a big deal, but in reality it is not. If the switches are in the right place, your hand will find them.
    The switches on my 02 RAV 4 are not lit - they are in exactly the same spot as they are on my 08 HL. I personally do not look at these switches to operate. Same goes for the power mirror adjustment. It is not lit, it does not really need to be. Cost cutting perhaps - I prefer to think of it as money spent in the right places.

  • As a Toyota stockholder, I prefer to think of it as a 14 billion (US$) net profit this year.
  • nimrod99nimrod99 Posts: 343
    Cost cutting?
    well, for $27,700 the CRV EX-L (Navi) has lighted power window switches, and voice activated automatic climate control, Radio / CD controls as well as the DVD navi
    Apart from having a 4cyl engine, the 2008 CRV is probably one of the best cars for the price.
    The fit and finish are impecible.

    Also, a recent JD power ranking show Toyota slipping, and Honda getting better.

    Don't get me wrong, I am a Toyota fan, but I wish they would keep up with the pack.

    Oh, my 1987 Supra had lighted power window switches, as well as auto climate control.
  • verdugoverdugo Posts: 2,281
    Cost cutting?

    I didn't say it made sense.
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